How These Tips and Academic Tools Help You Avoid Burnout in College

Student in graduation cap using computer at desk

You probably still remember when you just started your college journey where your cup of motivation seemed limitless and you’re full of energy all the time. However, as you go up the academic ladder and you start juggling all the projects, homework, and extracurricular activities, you’re bound to feel exhausted at some point, which may lead to burnout if not handled properly. 

Burnout refers to overworking yourself for long periods of time and having minimal to no control over the situation. This is characterized by a state of mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion when you feel overwhelmed and unable to meet endless demands. This will, in turn, may result in a decline in your overall performance. 

Burnout is not just being tired. Take note of these common indications to know if you’re experiencing burnout: 

  • Grades getting worse
  • Submitting projects past the deadline or making mistakes that you normally won’t make  
  • Reduced engagement with family and friends
  • Always falling asleep in classes or as soon as you get home
  • Tardiness and coming in late to class
  • Feeling physical ailments like frequent headaches, joint pains, having fever etc. 
  • Withdrawing from extra-curricular activities or clubs
  • Losing confidence in yourself
  • Habitually stress-eating and overthinking
  • Inability to concentrate

Avoid getting burned out with these easy lifestyle adjustments:

desktop, clock, hour glass, calendar

1. Time management and organization

Prioritizing your tasks is the best way to prevent burnout. List down all the tasks that you need to accomplish and arrange them on the basis of most urgent down to the least urgent. This way, you’d have a clear view of which ones should be finished first instead of trying to simultaneously finish them all. We suggest the use of planners or calendars to help you keep track of deadlines and further help you schedule tasks. Try to organize your study table too because it’ll help you concentrate if your place is tidy.

bull's eye

2. Set reasonable goals

It’s stressful not having your expectations and goals met and stress ultimately leads to burnout. You wouldn’t want to set unrealistic goals and stress over it afterwards. Assess your skills and limitations to utilize your assets more. Workaround what you can do but don’t overdo things. Even if you are passionate about the course that you’ve taken, too much of it can also be taxing.  Take it one step at a time.

books stacked on top of one another with a toga on the topmost part

3. Develop good study habits

Find a good spot to study with limited distractions or tidy up your place, lookup tools or techniques that can help you accomplish your goals and make things more efficient for you, and follow a routine that works best for you.

Here are some productivity tools that can help you avoid burnout:

  1. Google Drive – It lets you share, store, and collaboratively edit documents to anyone who has a Google account. If you’re worried about security, you have the option to only share the file with particular people of your choosing. 
  2. Yammer – It’s a private social network that allows individuals to work in groups, share files, and co-edit content, etc. They offer a free basic plan. 
  3. Wiggio – This is another workgroup application providing messaging, calendars, polls, and to-do lists.
  4. Cacoo – It allows you to create flowcharts and diagrams online for collaboration purposes. 
  5. Boostnote – This is a free, open-source note-taking application that works on Android, iOS, Linux, macOS, and Windows. You can create and edit a text document or a snippet note with a text editor for codes. 
  6. Microsoft OneNote – Another free note-taking application that allows you to choose a background for notes that looks like a textured or lined paper. It also mimics a classic binder, with notebooks, sections, and tabs for your notes. 
  7. Paper – A note-taking application similar to a sketchpad for iPhone and iPad users. 
  8.  FreeTranscriptions – An online audio-to-text conversion service that you can rely on to transcribe lectures, interviews, or seminars so you can review them later. This increases efficiency in terms of studying lectures and research analysis because you no longer have to listen to recordings on repeat. FreeTranscriptions offers free transcriptions from 300 minutes and more if you avail of their proofreading or editing services.

These are just a few tools that can assist you with your academic needs. More tools are out there waiting to be discovered. You just have to do a lot of research and determine which applications can potentially be of help to you.

2 men doing social media and yoga, two women doing social media and yoga

4. Have a ‘me’ time

Make sure to always take a breather. Take time to unwind. Even just for a day. When you organize your schedule, make sure you include yourself in the computation. You don’t necessarily need to go out and pamper yourself or go on an adventure. You can simply stay at home, binge watch your favorite series and order some food, basically anything that makes you feel relaxed. You can also try calming activities like yoga, meditation, walking, and breathing exercises. The point is to reserve at least a rest day or two on a weekly basis.

smartphone and social media logos

5. Social Media Detox

Your daily attachment to social media and its constant and instant updates can be overwhelming. Plus, the fact that most social media updates are only showing the “ups” of people around you or people you may know triggers a feeling of insecurity towards your unfinished goals, or the lack thereof. They keep you pre-occupied and awake during hours that should’ve been spent on sleeping and resting. 

Remember that while it’s important to work hard towards your goals, your physical and mental health should still come first. 

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